South Africa wins 2016 Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens


There was a burst of excitement on the grassy pitch separating the photographers from the crowd in front of Hong Kong Stadium’s entrance on an early Friday evening in April.  Members of the South African men’s rugby sevens squad had eagerly taken places alongside the shutterbugs, some squatting and kneeling behind the sponsorship boards.  Others half-heartedly warmed up for a Hong Kong Sevens 2016 night match against England, preferring to instead steal glances toward the middle of the field.

What was the distraction?  It turned out that their female colleagues were competing for the Cup at the 2016 Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens against France, and the Blitzbokke wanted to cheer them on.  With all other matches taking place in Kowloon and Happy Valley, the women’s final between South Africa and France was the only match to play out at the same venue as the men’s HSBC World Series event.

Impressively, South Africa captured the title, 14-7, in the final without their experienced senior players.  Even more so, they defeated teams that have qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics along the way, beating Kenya, 32-0, and France, 7-5, in pool play, then toppling Japan, 19-10, in the semifinals.  In besting France again for the title, Zenay Jordaan and Marithy Pienaar scored tries for South Africa, prompting their coach to declare afterwards in a Hong Kong Rugby Union statement, “The youngsters pulled something out of hat.  The girls deserve it.”

With the title, the South African women have accomplished what the men incredibly have not: win a Sevens Cup championship in Hong Kong.

Photos: South Africa d. France, 14-7 – 2016 Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens
all photos by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine

Video: South Africa wins 2016 Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens
video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine